Hospital waiting times keep rising in Netherlands

Hospital room
A dialysis machine next to a hospital bed. 1 Aug. 2011Photo: Irvin calicut / Wikimedia Commons

The average waiting time at hospitals in the Netherlands again increased in 2016, according to figures NRC got from research and consulting firm MediQuest. In 2014 the average waiting time was 2.95 weeks. In 2015 it increased to 3.10 weeks and last year it was up to 3.52 weeks.

Waiting times are increasing across a broad range of specialities, especially for patients with allertigies, eye problams and stomach, intestinal and liver problems. These specialities had waiting times of over six weeks by the end of 2016.

According to the newspaper, the increasing waiting times can be partly attributed to the fact that most care providers' budgets grow more slowly than the economy. The hospital sector has a maximum budgeted growth of 1 percent, excluding inflation, for 2017. The economy is expected to grow by 2 ercent.